“That’s why we have to reform EI. Improving eligibility will bring help to workers who have paid in but don’t currently qualify. It is also the most effective, rapid and targeted form of stimulus the government can offer our economy right now

“One-hundred-and-fifty-thousand more unemployed Canadians on EI mean 150,000 more Canadian families spending on food, rent and transportation. It means money flowing into communities that have been hit the hardest by this recession. That’s the kind of immediate, targeted and effective stimulus we need right now

“Red tape has paralyzed federal infrastructure spending, and billions of dollars are being held back by the federal government from municipalities that are desperate to get shovels in the ground and to start creating jobs. We can help those communities directly, right now, by improving access to EI.”

— Michael Ignatieff, National Post, May 23

“EI reform is not an issue universally popular with caucus members. Some MPs argue that their constituents would rather hear about job creation than insurance for lost jobs.

“’EI is an important issue but it’s not the only issue,’ House Leader Ralph Goodale said, repeating the refrain for emphasis. ‘EI is one of the issues. It is not the only issue.'”

Globe and Mail, today